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First astro/landscape/lightpainting attempt
Lens: SMC Pentax-DA 14mm F2.8 ED Camera: Pentax K-01 Photo Location: Bremen, Germany ISO: 1600 Shutter Speed: Above 6s Aperture: F4 
Posted By: alpheios, 05-09-2016, 03:56 AM

My very first attempt to do some astro plus landscape with lightpainting. Light pollution is a big issue here but I tried my best to make it a nice photo.



Last edited by alpheios; 05-09-2016 at 12:03 PM.
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05-09-2016, 04:57 AM   #2
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Nice shot!
05-09-2016, 06:35 AM   #3
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Nicely done.
05-09-2016, 10:16 AM   #4
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I really love this shot! Extremely well done, absolutely beautiful!

05-09-2016, 11:15 AM   #5
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Can't believe this is your first attempted, very well done!
05-09-2016, 11:39 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Thank you all for your comments. I did some lightpainting stuff before but this really is my first astrophotography attempt. I have another one I did yesterday:



And this is some lightpainting stuff I did before. Used different colored lighting gels on a flashlight for this:


Last edited by alpheios; 05-09-2016 at 11:59 AM.
05-10-2016, 04:46 AM   #7
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Very nice shots, love the last one
05-10-2016, 11:59 AM   #8
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Again, great work, I prefer the first and the last very nice.

05-15-2016, 01:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by alpheios Quote
My very first attempt to do some astro plus landscape with lightpainting. Light pollution is a big issue here but I tried my best to make it a nice photo.
I've been trying to do this !! Any suggestions as to what settings to start with ? Where to go?
05-17-2016, 01:01 AM   #10
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where to start

QuoteOriginally posted by germs Quote
I've been trying to do this !! Any suggestions as to what settings to start with ? Where to go?
Well my photos are a composition of two different shots, one for the sky and one for the foreground.

If you have never done any lightpainting I would highly recommend trying this first. I takes some practice to get the shot the way you want it. For the foreground I used ISO100 and f/8 to get it really sharp and noise free. It takes some testing to find out how long you have to paint with you flashlight, depending on camera settings and the brightness of you flashlight. Also it takes some practice to light the foreground evenly otherwise you get hotspots or dark areas when keeping the flashlight too long or too short on certain parts of the image.

When shooting stars it is important to choose camera settings that let you catch as much light as possible. First of all you have to keep the aperture as wide open as possible. In my case I tried f/2.8 but wasn't satisfied with the sharpness of the stars so I stopped down to f/4. You have to make sure your infinity focus is set correctly. I used liveview with zoom on the brightest star I could find to get the focus right. The next thing is exposure time. There is the famous 500 rule: divide 500 by the focal length to get the maximum exposure time in seconds before the stars become trails instead of dots. When shooting APSC you have to multiply the focal length by 1.5 in that calculation. I had a 14mm lens on APSC so that came out to 500/14 x 1.4 = 23,8 seconds. I could only choose 20 or 30 seconds on my K-01 so I went for 20 seconds. So since aperture and exposure time are fixed you can only play with the ISO to adjust the amount of starlight hitting your sensor. On APSC I wouldn't go higher than ISO1600 to keep the noise low. If you happen to own the K-1 you can probably easily go to ISO3200 or even 6400.

For the location try to go somewhere with as low light pollution as possible. Find a spot that is as far away from a city as you can get and that has something interesting to put in the foreground of your image. The best thing to do is find a nice spot during daylight and come back when it's dark. Also make sure you take the picture at least one hour after sunset and with the moon below horizon to get a sky that is as dark as possible.

For developing and merging the two shots I used Lightroom and Photoshop.

There are some really great tutorials on youtube for this kind of photography. One I really liked was this from Nick Page:
Just start with this one and then take some time to watch some of the recommendations below this video.
05-19-2016, 04:47 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by alpheios Quote
Well my photos are a composition of two different shots, one for the sky and one for the foreground.

If you have never done any lightpainting I would highly recommend trying this first. I takes some practice to get the shot the way you want it. For the foreground I used ISO100 and f/8 to get it really sharp and noise free. It takes some testing to find out how long you have to paint with you flashlight, depending on camera settings and the brightness of you flashlight. Also it takes some practice to light the foreground evenly otherwise you get hotspots or dark areas when keeping the flashlight too long or too short on certain parts of the image.

When shooting stars it is important to choose camera settings that let you catch as much light as possible. First of all you have to keep the aperture as wide open as possible. In my case I tried f/2.8 but wasn't satisfied with the sharpness of the stars so I stopped down to f/4. You have to make sure your infinity focus is set correctly. I used liveview with zoom on the brightest star I could find to get the focus right. The next thing is exposure time. There is the famous 500 rule: divide 500 by the focal length to get the maximum exposure time in seconds before the stars become trails instead of dots. When shooting APSC you have to multiply the focal length by 1.5 in that calculation. I had a 14mm lens on APSC so that came out to 500/14 x 1.4 = 23,8 seconds. I could only choose 20 or 30 seconds on my K-01 so I went for 20 seconds. So since aperture and exposure time are fixed you can only play with the ISO to adjust the amount of starlight hitting your sensor. On APSC I wouldn't go higher than ISO1600 to keep the noise low. If you happen to own the K-1 you can probably easily go to ISO3200 or even 6400.

For the location try to go somewhere with as low light pollution as possible. Find a spot that is as far away from a city as you can get and that has something interesting to put in the foreground of your image. The best thing to do is find a nice spot during daylight and come back when it's dark. Also make sure you take the picture at least one hour after sunset and with the moon below horizon to get a sky that is as dark as possible.

For developing and merging the two shots I used Lightroom and Photoshop.

There are some really great tutorials on youtube for this kind of photography. One I really liked was this from Nick Page: Astrophotography tutorial. How to photograph the milky way - YouTube
Just start with this one and then take some time to watch some of the recommendations below this video.

Thank you so much for the detailed description. I am definitely looking forward to putting this info into action I just need to find a spot far away from the city.
05-19-2016, 06:42 PM   #12
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Very cool - I was going to suggest using gels for the flash, looks like you're on that. A lot of people throw off these kinds of shots by using the really white light of a flash directly, but the rest of the scene has a hue to it...
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